Everything you wished to know about American football

The league:

The NFL contains 32 teams split into two conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). Each conference is separated into 4 divisions, North, South, East and West with 4 groups in each. You’ll find a breakdown of every division here.

The field:

An American football pitch (or subject as it is known) is a hundred and twenty yards lengthy and 53.3 yards wide. The most important elements are the two end zones, with one positioned at either finish of the field. The ten yards between the entrance and back of the tip zone is the place touchdowns are scored.

The teams:

Each group has specialists on offence, defence and special groups however by no means have more than 11 players on the sector at one time. In the NFL there are forty six active players allowed on game day which is why you see so many people standing alongside the sidelines.

The offence is made up of:

The offensive line (two guards, tackles and a centre who protect the quarterback and running backs from being tackled).

Two/4 wide receivers who catch the ball or block on running plays.

One/ tight ends who catch the ball or block on sure passing and running plays.

One/ running backs who run and catch the ball while also blocking for the quarterback on some plays.

The quarterback, who can pass, run with, or hand the football to the running back.

The defence is made up of:

The defensive line who try to cease the quarterback and running back from moving the football.

Linebackers who push forward to try and stop the running back and tackle the quarterback.

Cornerbacks and safeties who, primarily, try to stop the receivers from catching the ball.

The play:

Possession in American football is just like rugby league, with each offence having 4 ‘downs’ to advance the ball ten yards. When the offence succeeds in moving the ball at the very least ten yards, they’re awarded with a recent set of downs, meaning they’ve 4 more attempts.

To move the ball, a workforce can choose to run or throw, but only one forward pass is allowed in every play.

The quarterback is perhaps essentially the most well-known position in American football and, like an on-area basic, he touches the ball on virtually each play. With the assistance of the offensive coordinator he additionally decides if a play will involve a run, a pass or, in some cases, both.

In most cases, if a staff has did not move the ball forward ten yards on the first three downs, they punt the ball away (like kicking for position in rugby) or kick a discipline goal (price three points) on the fourth.


Instead of subject goals, most groups wish to rating touchdowns like the one Tom Brady scores above. These are registered when a staff either runs or passes the ball into the end zone and are price six factors, with the point after (think conversion in rugby) value one.

You may also go for a -level conversion by running or throwing into the tip zone.

While it is usually the offence that scores, the defence can get in on the motion too. If the defence intercepts a pass (a pick) or forces an opposition player to fumble the football, they will run the ball into their opponent’s finish zone for six points.

Defences can even drive a safety (we told you we’d get to it). This is value two factors and occurs if they tackle an offensive player within the offence’s own end zone.

The clock:

Games are divided into four 15-minute quarters, separated by a 12-minute break at halftime. There are additionally two-minute breaks on the end of the first and third quarters as groups change ends of the field. At the end of the first and third quarters, the team with the ball retains possession heading into the next quarter.

Each offensive team has forty seconds from the tip of a given play until they snap the ball for the start of the subsequent play, otherwise they are going to be penalised.

The clock stops on the finish of incomplete passing performs, when a player goes out of bounds, or when a penalty is called. The clock starts again when the ball is re-noticed by an official.

If a game is a draw (tied) on the finish of 60 minutes, a 15-minute time beyond regulation period can be played. Within the NFL, the primary crew to score a touchdown wins. A field goal can even win a game in overtime but only if each groups have had possession of the football.

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